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Monday, 06 March 2017 11:03

Dave Arch – Coming Home

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Strictly Musical Director Dave Arch demonstrates some moves of his own.

Dave Arch is a pianist, conductor, arranger and composer with a prolific career covering albums, films and commercials, through to television and live work. However, Dave is undoubtedly best known for his role as Musical Director and arranger for BBC Television’s BAFTA winning Strictly Come Dancing

Now he has stepped out from the shadows to realise a long held ambition. Recorded in 2016, Coming Home is his first solo album and contains a purposely eclectic mix of fifteen original compositions written for a variety of ensembles and utilising the talents of around eighty of the finest studio musicians in the UK. The album was recorded and co-produced by Haydn Bendall at the world-renowned Abbey Road, Air, Rak and Strongroom studios.

The fifteen pieces present a stimulating and diverse collection of songs, rooted in jazz, which takes the listener along an exciting journey through uplifting big band/ orchestral compositions, retro style rock big band, modern jazz rock, a classy melodic jazz style ballad and a tour de force that builds from a dreamy start to a frenetic mix of rhythms - all played live. 

The albums opens with Hello, an uplifting big band/orchestral composition originally composed for the London Trombone Quartet and featuring Paul Stacey on guitar, Nigel Hitchcock on alto saxophone and Andy Greenwood on muted trumpet. More Air is a collage of world music elements featuring Andy Findon on shakuhachi and bamboo flute and John Parricelli on electric sitar. This builds from a dreamy start to a frenetic mix of rhythms all played live.

What I Was Trying To Say is a classy and melodic jazz style ballad featuring piano and Steve Sidwell on flugelhorn. By contrast, Roll The Dice is a retro style rock big band composition featuring Laurence Cottle on bass guitar and Mark Nightingale on trombone.

Three Amigos was co-composed with son Tom Arch, this a modern jazz-rock composition with three co-habiting sections and features Paul Stacey and John Parricelli on guitars.

Co-composed with Tommy Blaize, Time To Remember is is an evocative song loosely based on the First World War period featuring piano, orchestra and the vocals of Tommy. Coming Home was originally composed some 25 years ago, the title track of the album is written for a small group jazz ensemble and features piano and Iain Ballamy on tenor saxophone.

Migration features vocals fromTori Beaumont, and a gentle and evocative piano solo with strings. Un Diã Duro (A Hard Day) , as the name suggests, is a Spanish infused composition which starts with a guitar obligato by John Parricelli and then launches into a fast track featuring piano, Eddie Hession on accordion and Tommy Blaize on vocals.

Desire is a more cinematic orchestral composition featuring a violin solo from Rolf Wilson, whilst Pandora’s Box is a quirky composition featuring a string quintet with fast jazz backing and Frank Ricotti on marimba.

Naturally invokes West Coast America and features Nigel Hitchcock on alto saxophone and full big band and orchestra. The Question is a light bossa nova type filmic composition with French overtones and featuring Iain Ballamy on tenor saxophone, John Parricelli on guitar and Eddie Hession on accordion.

Top Table is a small group jazzy composition featuring piano, Nigel Hitchcock on tenor saxophone and Chris Laurence on double bass.

Salmagundi brings the album to a close. Originally written for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra in memory of flautist Richard Symons, this is a large scale piece starting with a reflection featuring Tony Pleeth on cello, and then a celebration, a samba infused exuberant big band section featuring the flute of Gareth Lockrane and the flugelhorn of Steve Sidwell, the two themes joining together at the end. 


Album Personnel

Vocals: Tommy Blaize/ Tori Beaumont

Drums: Jeremy Stacey/ Ralph Salmins/ Ian Thomas

Bass: Laurence Cottle/ Chris Laurence/ Steve Pearce/ Trevor Barry

Guitars: John Parricelli/ Paul Stacey/ Mitch Dalton/ Tom Arch

Percussion: Paul Clarvis/ Frank Ricotti

Hammond Organ: Jeff Leach

Harp: Skaila Kanga

Accordion: Eddie Hession

Trumpets: Steve Sidwell/ Simon Gardner/ Andy Greenwood/ Tom Walsh/ Tom Rees-Roberts

Trombones: Mark Nightingale/ Richard Edwards/ Andy Wood/ Alastair White/ Pete Beachill

Tuba: Owen Slade

Saxophones: Nigel Hitchcock/ Iain Ballamy/ Phil Todd

French Horns: Richard Watkins/ Mike Thompson/ Laurence Davies/ Richard Berry

Flutes: Gareth Lockrane/ Karen Jones/ Andy Findon/ Anna Noakes

Clarinets: Nick Bucknall/ Tony Pike

Oboe: David Theodore

Bassoon: Richard Skinner

Violins: Rolf Wilson (leader)/Simon Baggs/ Daniel Bhattacharya/ John Bradbury/ Natalia Bonner/ Martin Burgess/ Manon Derome/ Jonathan Evans-Jones/ Roger Garland/ Richard George/ Ian Humphries/ Alison Kelly/ Oli Langford/ Bea Lovejoy/Sonia Slany/ Debbie Widdup/ Paul Willey/ Warren Zielinski

Violas: Nick Barr/ Bill Hawkes/ Garfield Jackson/ Andy Parker/ Bob Smissen/ Katie Wilkinson

Celli: Ian Burdge/ Nick Cooper/ Cathy Giles/ Tim Gill/ Paul Kegg/ Josephine Knight/ Chris Worsey

Double Basses: Chris Laurence/ Roger Linley/ Steve Mair/ Steve Williams



Hilary Robertson

Read 1939 times Last modified on Monday, 25 September 2017 08:36

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